UniPhi Blog

UniPhi 13 is here!

Mark Heath, 03 Nov 2017

As my three year old son would say....."Phew, that was close". But without further adieu, here is the new interface in all its glory!


When the team uploaded this video to YouTube and tweeted the results the first tweet above it was the new iPhone X....A little intimidating but hey, I hope this video helps our dear users get excited about their pending upgrade.

There's a whole host of feature improvements as well in this release. Some of this were listed in our May post when we decided to delay release and go hell for leather on a new interface.

We will be highlighting these new features in coming blog entries over the next few weeks.

Now onto UniPhi 14 and a whole new world of React!

 

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UniPhi 13 - Release eve

Mark Heath, 02 Nov 2017

Tomorrow is release day. Finally! It has been a very hectic 5 months since we pushed the go button on completely re-designing our core web application. The first re-design in 14 years, some would say we did alright the first time around. Others might say we waited too long)! Either way, the wait will be ancient history from tomorrow.

As promised, this blog will announce other survey results from our generous end users who have supported our product and it's feature improvements for the past 14 years.

The only specific question left to announce was the background of the sub-nav: White, grey or something else and the winner was.....grey with 70% of the vote. Here's how it looks:

Who said grey was drab? On an Aston Martin its divine and how a UniPhi sub-nav gets the grey look

Yes, those observant people will have noticed that this was actually revealed in my last post. However, here it is explicitly announced.

Commentary given in the survey included:

1) "Just give me the hamburger! Less means more." Sorry Mr Clutter Less, you lost out on this one from your peers but we have added a change for our 13.1 release (developers groan...it never ends) to allow for the nav bar to be hidden for those who agree with Mr Less.

2) "Can we get a compact view of tables". The answer here is yes, and a more padded with larger font view. In supporting the visually impaired, UniPhi has made sure there's a lot more functionality around this issue.

3) "Can the client re-skin the interface". Not yet but yes in 10.1. We will be building an interface for fonts, colours and logos to be included into the site so that your application truly is your application. One smart pants commented that if this was planned, why'd you care about what colour the nav bar was....answer, for our own deployment!

4) "Right hand side controls as I'm right handed". Sorry Mr Right Handed, you were out voted on this one...probably good to even out the muscle tone in the hands and arms.

That's the main comments relating to the interface, other comments will be addressed directly to the commenter (damn, that's not a word. It should be!).

So, as can be gleaned from the responses, there will be a 10.1 release within 2 months of this one adding all the little bits that polish off the re-design that weren't necessary for a release but will continue the improvements within a short space of time.

Tomorrow will see the release blog update, new videos and the chance to explore  how the end product turned out. I'll also announce the first lucky client who is to receive it first. Stay tuned...

 

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UniPhi 13 - 3 days to release!

Mark Heath, 31 Oct 2017

As per our newsletter yesterday, we have 3 more days to go before we go live with the biggest UniPhi software release in 13 years!

The release date was postponed in June when it was decided that the interface was becoming our biggest weakness and inhibiting our goal of building business software people want to use. It is a common lesson learnt at all management conferences that IT software roll-outs fail because of a lack of senior management support. We felt the best way to mitigate this risk was to build software people want to use. That way, even if senior management are not sold on the idea, the project will succeed as the key stakeholders are the end users who populate it with data. Give them benefits to doing so and surely a good result will ensue. So, this new release is focused on building an interface that encourages use and rewards effort.

We have engaged our user base over the past 3 months to assist us in designing the new interface. Participation was excellent and we really appreciate all the feedback. Yesterday, via our newsletter distribution list, we announced the first set of results from our user survey. 

Today I'll be announcing the second result. This was around colour schemes and has a background story to it. Our existing system (designed 14 years ago) has a save icon that can often get lost. The new interface has reduced the number of icons by replacing the top nav bar of the current system with the current sub nav and thereby bringing in a sub-nav for the current sub nav....that's a lot of sub nav. What this means is that a "button" will never be used as a navigational function in the new release. It will be provide action functions like saving, moving, editing and updating. This means a lot less buttons.
New top nav and sub nav for costs

Secondly, the add and save buttons needed to be accentuated from the other less used action buttons like move or assign to. So we sent out a survey asking what colour the save icon should be and the winner by an overwhelming 90% of respondents was green. I'm sure my 3 year old son will like this as "green means go" and boy does he go!

New action buttons with a green save
Please revisit our blog tomorrow to see the next survey result.

 

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UniPhi 13 is coming!

Mark Heath, 31 May 2017


The UniPhi platform is fast approaching its 12th anniversary. And as is the case every year, we are continuing on with the development of enhancements and brand new features. Over the course of the next few weeks I'll be producing a series of blogs which will detail exactly what you can expect in the forthcoming release of UniPhi 13 due out in July 2017.

The two major features are enhanced BI reporting with Tableau, PowerBI or other tools of choice and a tweak to the interface. (Hint! We've gone square!)


BI Tools providing rich reporting capability

BI Tools enabling cut and dice analysis

Some other new features are:

Redesigned My Work Summary tab. We have completed a redesign of the my work summary so that you can now see all of the work that you have allocated to you.

Issue Custom Fields can be added to the Issues tab. This allows you to filter for any specific type of issues according to your organisations requirements

Ability to link issues to milestones, and link milestones to lifecycle phases. As issue or action dates change, your lifecycle dates are dynamically updated, and your milestone forecast data are also adjusted.

Progress Claims multi contract selection. When creating a progress claim, UniPhi now allows you to select all contracts within a project that relate to a single supplier.

Provisional Sums. Allows you to specify a deliverable as being a provisional sum, and then managing the committed value as it becomes known.

 

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Cost Management Series III - Cash flow

Mark Heath, 11 May 2017

Feedback from cost management firms is that there is a dearth of software to support the cash flow forecasting requirements for developers and consultants. One of the reasons for this is the complexity in generating an algorithm that can handle with accuracy the permutations of projects that are run in the construction industry. One of our clients has 12 construction industry sectors (e.g. Health, Education, Commercial, Leisure etc). Across all sectors there are over 30 project types or sub sectors (e.g. oil and gas, solar for energy sector, defence and justice for government, Office short, medium and tall plus fitout for commercial etc) and against 30 project types there are literally hundreds of asset types (Halls, libraries, pools, stadia etc etc). Then you need to consider the work types for these projects (i.e. new build, refurb, extension etc). And finally size and complexity all need to be considered.

How can a software developer generate an accurate profile of how an estimate will be spent over time? Many project managers build up work breakdown structures with both effort and material allocated. This is then sequenced and durations determined for each piece of work. Then via the Gantt profile, scheduling software can spit out a cash profile.  However, this is an enormous amount of work to complete for an investment that may only be at feasibility stage or even right up to detailed design. What if there was a better way?

We believe that a simpler way is to leverage the past to predict the future. As projects are completed, an actual earned profile is developed for that project. Categorising that project with a selection for each of the meta data described below means that we can use this information on any future projects that match the meta data classification. So over time, your consultancy, development company or construction company can use past projects to predict the spend profile of future ones.

Read our blog post on the release of this cash flow algorithm here:

http://uniphi.com.au/blog/view.aspx/uniphi-12-s-curve-phasing-algorithm-based-off-benchmark-past-621551636789556201

Or watch a demonstration of it in use on YouTube below:



Now this database of old projects can be an inhibitor to the success of such an algorithm, however, the expectation is that most organisations have strategic plans that result in them focused on only a small subset of the sectors, project types and asset types listed above. Therefore, it does not take long for cost data to exist in their key strategic niche to. Cost consultancies could look to sell actual phasing profiles of past jobs to companies in niche areas of work (so long as that company has UniPhi to take advantage of the data!). With a small amount of strategic activity, even a startup construction company or developer could obtain rich benchmark data for very little when compared to the risk of poor cash flow forecasting leading to funding issues and other financial stresses.

 

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